Wednesday, October 17, 2007

NAACP Says Halloween Display Is Racist, Family Forced To Remove It

Warning: The following post will contain some strong language not usually present in my writing, but I am super pissed about this. I have removed letters of certain words, but felt it was appropriate to warn those of you who are regular readers. I'm usually not this personal or confrontational, but given the past couple of weeks with similar stories an aggressive response was warranted.

Update: I have added a poll at the top right of this site. Let us what you think of the display. Is it racist, or not?

Photo Courtesy Of The Daily Record

So much for the NAACP actually becoming a respectable organization again. I had hope for a while there because they had been settling down a bit. The NAACP "seemed" to be getting away from the Jackson/Sharpton ideology. Oh well, it looks like they are back in full force.

The NAACP, along with a couple of oversensitive neighbors, blew a simple Halloween decoration waaaay out of proportion.

The Star Ledger:

Chesla Flood couldn't believe her eyes. A hangman's noose circled the neck of a black-hooded, jeans-clad dummy suspended from the chimney of a house in Madison.

Flood called her mother, Millie Hazlewood, who reported the Halloween display to police. She wasn't the only one. Police went to the property at least three times starting Sunday, and even the mayor asked the homeowners to take down the figure.

The police took time out of their day to harass a family for Halloween decorations, multiple times? The mayor even requested the family take down the decoration? What in the hell is this world coming to that you can't put a commonly used Halloween display up? I can't count how many times I've seen a hangman's noose as part of Halloween decorations, haunted houses, and even my own decorations. These people are acting like this is the first time this has been done. When, in fact, it's somewhat of a traditional display.

So is this the first time this family has used the noose?

D.J. Maines, the 27-year-old son of Cheryl and David Maines, has bedecked the house for seven Halloweens using $5,000 worth of decorations he has collected. He has used the hanging dummy each year.

Nope. He's used the display for 7 YEARS with no incident! Why no incident? Because it's a common display used by thousands of homes across the US!

Finally, the pressure got the family, and they removed the display because they feared for their safety.

At 8 last night, the family relented, saying they feared for their safety.

"It's no more like freedom of speech anymore," Cheryl Maines said. "My son had to take this down because these people have blown this thing out of proportion."

Hell, it doesn't even really have to do with freedom of speech because it is a Halloween decoration!

Here is what the mayor (a white guy) had to say:

Before the figure was removed yesterday, Madison Mayor Ellwood "Woody" Kerkeslager said "the appearance and the suggestion (of racism) is there, and it's inappropriate."

What? How? They didn't show a black person being hung. They showed a person in a black hood being hung. When we used to hang people in this country guess what we did? We put a black hood over their heads!

Now listen to how everyone is trying to tie this story in with other noose stories in the news lately in an effort to paint this family as racist.

At least four recent noose displays -- one each in Jena, La., and Philadelphia and two in New York City -- are drawing renewed attention to a potent symbol of racism, lynchings and the era of Jim Crow segregation.

Unlike those incidents, the Madison figure was part of a Halloween display, and for two days, homeowners Cheryl and David Maines, the borough's superintendent of public works, refused to budge. They said they had done nothing wrong.


Credit goes to the author for pointing out the obvious ... this was a decoration, at a home, for Halloween. To draw correlations to Jena, La. is insane at best.

Here's where the NAACP jump in, and make complete fools of themselves.

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People denounced the display as offensive, racist and insensitive.

"I think there are many people who understand the significance of a noose as it relates to the history of African-Americans," said James Harris, president of the NAACP's state chapter. "We thought we lived beyond the era when people felt it was okay to have that type of display."

"As it relates to the history of African-Americans?" F__K YOU!

There is another population that has a history with the noose James ... COWBOYS! And most cowboys were what? White!

Why don't we just make the argument that the display was inappropriate because it might offend criminals. After all, we used to hang criminals exactly as the display is shown ... black hood and all.

"We thought we lived beyond the era when people felt it was okay to have that type of display?" What era are you talking about James? The era when we used to hang people as capital punishment? We HAVE lived beyond that era James. That's why your argument makes no damned sense! We DON'T hang people anymore ... white, black or any other race for that matter. Hence, it was only a Halloween decoration!

The only people who haven't lived past that era is you, James. You and your supporters want old feelings from another time to surface. That way you can foment hate, prove the NAACP is still needed and maybe make a quick buck while you're at it.

To top it all off ... not only are you still living in the past, but you are projecting a falsehood upon this family. You keep talking about racism when there was no part of this display that could be construed as racist by any sane, logical person. So are you fomenting hate James, or are you just lacking sanity and logic?

The family has sworn off holiday decorations for good because of this fiasco. I assume that was the goal all along as there is a concerted effort to remove holiday displays in this country.

Last night, the Maines family said they would be replacing their Halloween display and erecting a sign reading: "Thanks to the assistance of Millie Hazlewood and her friends, Halloween and Christmas decorations will no longer be celebrated here."

This is very sad.

Authorities also said that the display was not illegal, and couldn't be ordered down. If that is the case ... then why did the police harass this family on three separate occasions? I hope the family sues the department for harassment, and I hope they sue the people who complained and the NAACP for violating their civil rights. The mayor should also be a target for lawsuit for his interference.

Read the rest of the article and you'll see a bunch of people who lived through the horrific time where lynching was common, and were offended by the display. The south is featured prominently in the article, but this is taking place in New Jersey so don't be fooled.

The Maines family also responded to those who have a history with lynching.

"Don't bring your ancestors into this -- it's something that happened; you've got to get beyond it or you're going to make yourself sick," she said.

She is right. To bring up history having nothing to do with her or her decorations in an effort to demonize her family is completely uncalled for.

Had the display featured a black person being lynched, I would have supported it being taken down. However, there was no racial undertones at all in the display. This was just another excuse by racists themselves to attack white people.

Here is another picture of the display for you to decide yourself.

The Daily Record


6 comments to "NAACP Says Halloween Display Is Racist, Family Forced To Remove It"

Anonymous said...
10:53 PM

Not a google blogger yet.. I will say my name is Lillian.. and yes that is offensive! In this day and age.. why not think of how it might offend other's. Let me take a guess ??? This is a African American family who put up this display right ??? Yup.. That is what I thought!! be more thoughtful of other's.. thanks Mexican Lilly

Casey said...
11:41 PM

Why not think of how it might offend others? The real question is why should those who are oversensitive be able to harass and censor others simply because they are claiming to be offended. Screw being more thoughtful of others ... they weren't thoughtful of this family.

This did not take place in the south, and the display has been used for 7 years without incident. Why, because it is not racist at all. A small group of people became hypersensitive because of the Jena 6 fiasco which led to random nooses showing up everywhere. That is the only reason this was an issue. If nooses weren't in the news ... no one would have complained about this decoration which reenacts how hangings were traditionally done by our government. We used black hoods over the heads of the vast majority of hangings in this country's history. It had nothing to do with lynching at all.

The race of the family that put the display up is irrelevant, and is only used as a race-baiting attack. You can do better ... I have faith.

I did a whole 3 hour show about this very topic, and I sincerely asked my audience to call in with their take. All but one, who called me a cracker, said this display was not racist. That included the over a dozen callers who happened to be black, and my producer who also is black.

My producer, Kyle, brought up the best point of the day when he said that those who complained should have politely approached the family who hung the display instead of calling the police to harass this family that broke no laws. Had they taken that mature, reasonable course of action this would not have been a news story. Instead, they chose to act in an immature fashion, creating a public inquisition against this family, and violating this family's civil/constitutional rights. Now who should have taken who's feelings into account again?

Casey said...
11:49 PM

To add to my comments above ...

If you really don't think that there is a concerted effort to demonize white people in this country ... see the University of Delaware situation happening right now.

If this behavior continues ... white supremacist groups will continue to use the unjustified persecution of whites to swell their ranks. Which in turn will allow minority hate groups to swell their ranks, and the cycle of hate will continue. It must end by us moving beyond this pettiness, and respecting the rights to freedom of our neighbors. Even if we disagree with them.

By the way ... the poll I conducted on this very matter showed that 79% felt as I do. That the display was not racist.

Anonymous said...
11:31 PM

People are not being lynched anymore. Where do you live in. Unfortuantely it's 2007 and people-BLACK people are still be lynched. read up on the history of AMerica and that for which you celebrate. Understand the culture and know and understand that the residue to 400+ years of slavery still remains among us. Are you famailar with WHITE PRIVELDGE? POST TRAUMATIC SLAVERY SYNDROME-Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary? Why do you have constitutional rights? Huuummmm Become educate. No need to use foul language to express yourself. But if you were truly EDUCATE and FULLY understood your history you woul dhave enough words to truly espress yourself!!! Read on and become more educated!!!

Anonymous said...
10:03 AM

The finest thing I can say about your article, the issue and the family in general is - god love you all. I moved to the South, there is a tension but its self induced. There really isn't any hate; oh sure you can go find it if you want but people aren't like they were 200 years ago. Thats why we can't say Merry Christmas, We can't wear indian head dress, we can't have a feather in your cap and you probably can't hang a "horse theif" here. - Which I now have an idea and want some money - I will sue next year hee he hee.. The point is, most of us have little to no hate - just frustration with groups who push us into areas where we don't want to go. My house is so cheap that burnned down would be a blessing - insurance is worth more. It south, only reason it feels like hate here is no one wants to be edjucated. Everyone wants a hand out or to screw over someone else, I think they cry when they see someone else having a good life and want to bring them down.

well they only make people want to tip-toe around - Not me, I think in your face it much better and as long as its still against the laws to harm people; that is if the police will even help you, its worth having the press eat it all to get a T-Shirt a few years later.. lol ;)

Anonymous said...
8:53 PM

Honestly, I do understand where this Casey person is saying, that the situation is not that serious. But in my perspective, it is some what serious. First of all, Casey, to enlighten someone with your point of view- you really do not have to use foul language and plus you should sound a little bit more educated in actually what you are "protesting" for. Second of all, looking at this display would shock me for awhile but then I would get over it but to some, it maybe a little too much especially with everything that has been happening lately. I mean I can dress up like "KKK" member on Halloween and say that there is no harm to anyone but look at the message that I am getting across, nowadays (hate to admit it) but image is everything and may feel like discrimination to some. If you are of good nature, you would be respectful to others and considerate. If not, you can hang that and be critized. My question is that if it is such a issue, why bother, just take it down and be understandable and stop wasting time on ridiculous arguments cuz there are already too many issues in this world greater than this. and don't think that why should YOU be the ONE to understand because if every person said then there would never be peace on this earth (and we're not far from that).



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